Former GAA president Joe McDonagh has died.

The Galway man passed away yesterday aged 62.

McDonagh was president of the Association between 1997 and 2000 and won an All-Ireland Hurling Championship with Galway in 1980.

The GAA said on Twitter late last night that he had died after a short illness and his passing would be deeply regretted by family, friends and the GAA community.

McDonagh's death comes less than two weeks since the passing of his predecessor Jack Boothman on 10 May, who served as president of the Association from 1994 to 1997. 

Current GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail paid tribute to a man he said left an "indelible mark" on the Association and the sport.

"It was with great sadness that we learnt of Joe’s passing last night and I know that sentiment is shared by so many throughout the wider GAA family," he said.

"Joe was held in extremely high regard and his company was enjoyed by so many over the course of his long involvement with the GAA in so many different capacities, not least as President from 1997 to 2000.

"He and his tenure left an indelible mark on Cumann Lúthchleas Gael and his passion for our games and activities was only matched by his passion for the Irish language.

"He also had a profound interest in our international network and the further expansion of the GAA overseas.

"He will be sorely missed and I would like to offer my sympathies to his wife Peig, his family and his wide circles of friends and admirers.”

Tributes paid from political world

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, meanwhile, has expressed his sadness on the passing, saying: "I knew Joe McDonagh well since our college days where his charisma and leadership qualities were clearly in evidence from early on.

"Joe was of course a member of that great Galway hurling team who ended years of heartbreak for the tribesmen in 1980 and sang the West’s Awake from the Hogan Stand to the supporters on the pitch and around the world.

"Joe had exquisite Irish and was one of the greatest speakers of our native tongue that I've ever heard.

"In rising through the ranks of GAA administration and reaching the heights of Uachtarán CLG Joe focused always on bringing young people with him, giving them the leadership and encouragement they needed.

"Joe isn't as renowned for his footballing prowess as his hurling but he was equally as adept with the big ball as the small.

"My sincerest sympathies go to his wife Peig and three children at this very sad time.

"He was a proud Ballinderreen man and while his club has lost a champion, Galway has lost a hero."

President Michael D Higgins sent his sympathies to the McDonagh family.

In a statement, Mr Higgins said "Joe was a giant in the world of Gaelic games, both as a player and a leader in the Organisation of the GAA. He had an enormous commitment to the Irish language, which he spoke beautifully, and showed great leadership in the development of the language over the course of a long career in the GAA.

"As the CEO of the VEC, he was also an outstanding educationalist - he made a significant contribution to vocational education, pioneering a number of innovative projects to the benefit of many young people in his country. 

"Joe will be sorely missed by his sporting colleagues, his community, and in particular by his very wide range of family and friends. 

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams also extended his "deepest condolences and solidarity" to the McDonagh family.